ESPA College (Educational Services for People with Autism) provides residential and daytime education for young people aged 16-25 who have autism and Asperger’s syndrome. The SEN college’s residential site has an ongoing need for assistants who can help support students with high functioning autism.
Emily Collins, one of Reed’s further education specialists, explained: “With the college being open 52 weeks a year, it has constant referrals, and ever-changing recruitment needs. To tailor support to each student, the roles involved supporting and encouraging soft skills, such as increasing independence and managing positive behaviour.”
Reed needed to help the college quickly find three SEN specialist assistants, ideally with MAPA (management of potential or actual aggression) training, and experience providing personal care in a similar setting.
The recruiters I have worked with are honest, reliable, proactive, and they work closely with our teams to put forward quality professionals every time.
ESPA’s College Principal
Using her own knowledge and personal experience with high functioning autism as a starting point, Emily researched what challenges could occur and what character traits would be required and began to build a pool of relevant professionals within the area.
Emily stated: “I asked each professional for examples of success in challenging situations or what techniques they were familiar with that have worked for them in the past when supporting SEN students.” Each CV was sent to ESPA’s College Principal, Patrick Cahill, with a profile detailing how the individual could benefit his students.
Residential Learning Support Assistant Gill Rigg wanted to get back into work as soon as possible, and Emily was determined to find her a job: “Emily and I have regular chats over the phone and by email; I always feel like I could call her to ask any questions, which really puts my mind at rest.”
We have helped Patrick find learning support assistants, tutors, and residential support staff before, which is why he decided to work with Reed again. He stated: “I’ve had links with Reed for years. The recruiters I have worked with are honest, reliable, proactive, and they work closely with our teams to put forward quality professionals every time.”
He continued: “Emily is dependable, hardworking, and thorough, and she always puts in every effort, with lots of communication, dialogue and contact. I would be happy to use them again and endorse them any time.”
“The candidates stated what a lovely place ESPA is to work at, and how supported they have felt by both the college and Reed,” Emily said, “ESPA has always been really positive about our candidates and has told us how much of an asset they are for their students. The college has since given us six other roles to work on.”
Gill, who is now a permanent employee, summed up her recruitment experience: “I would definitely work with Reed again. So far, Reed has found two jobs for me and I have enjoyed both positions.”
Patrick believes the overall experience has been positive and widely successful: “Most of the candidates have been very strong, and our new employees have enabled the school to maintain its required standards of education.”